It is a positive move that the cabinet has approved of a draft 'The Accreditation Council Law, 2016', that aims to ensure the standards of higher education. We have seen all too often, entities claiming to be universities, cropping up and continuing their operations without maintaining the quality of education that such establishments are expected to provide. Many private universities, moreover, charge exorbitant tuition fees but do not provide students with the services to justify such high costs. Despite government directives, many well-reputed universities have hiked up their fees but not provided the best academic learning and basic facilities such as proper campus environments and laboratories. If the law in question addresses such issues, that would indeed be a laudable endeavour.
The proposed council will review the academic standards of the universities and give ratings based on their findings which will be posted on a website. This should increase the competitiveness of the educational institutions – public and private- and hence in principle, improve the overall standards of higher education.
We however, would like to caution, that the draft law in question must not in any way become an obstruction to the growth of educational institutions that offer higher studies. It would be counterproductive if the implementation of the proposed law becomes entangled in bureaucratic gridlocks that may hamper initiatives that truly deserve accreditation. If the proposed law is executed in an efficient way by qualified members of the council, this may bring about a boost in the quality of higher education, something our young people deserve in order to be at par with their global counterparts.